An Allegory with Venus and Time

The painting was probably carried out as the central decoration for a ceiling in a palace belonging to the Contarini family in Venice, between 1753, when Tiepolo returned from Würzburg, and 1758, by which time Tiepolo's son Domenico had produced an etching of the composition in reverse.

The ceiling which was also decorated with four oval monochrome paintings illustrating the virtues, may have been commissioned to celebrate the birth of an heir in the family. Venus (with her two doves embracing in the sky above and the Three Graces), consigns a boy to the figure of Time who is attended by a Cupid. Time has laid aside his scythe, the blade of which is silhouetted against the globe of the Earth at the base of the painting.

Key facts

Artist dates
1696 - 1770
Full title
An Allegory with Venus and Time
Date made
about 1754-8
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
292 x 190.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought with a special grant and a contribution from The Pilgrim Trust, 1969
Inventory number
Location in Gallery